Phoenix Auto Repair

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Auto Repair Estimate

Auto Repair Estimate

Today automotive service and repair shops are getting more calls than ever asking for an estimate and we at Fairway Auto Repair are no exception. We understand that consumers in Phoenix are searching for the best value for their hard earned dollars. It has been a while since I addressed this issue but many are asking exactly how we, and other auto repair shops arrive at the estimated price so I thought I would take a moment and explain this again. An estimate consists of three parts: The labor rate Parts and supplies Overhead Fairway Auto Repair and other automotive service and repair shops estimate the labor rate by how long any given service or repair should take. There are guidelines set down by the manufacturer of each vehicle estimating the time it takes a trained technician to perform any given task. Parts and supplies are included in the estimate, of course. We use two categories of parts, OEM or “Aftermarket.” The parts manufactured by the original car manufa ... read more

Is Your Automotive Shop Certified?

Is Your Automotive Shop Certified?

In a recent study of several hundred people, the question was asked, “Does the auto shop you use have certified technicians?” The vast majority said they assumed that they were. The shop you use may have certified people, but the reality is there is no mandatory certification required to own or operate an auto repair shop. This is one part of our industry that I would like to see reviewed. A professional that cuts hair or fingernails is required to be state certified, but a mechanic who works on tires, engines or brakes doesn’t need a single day of training or any tools to do so. Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) offers a series of tests that a technician can take to be certified in many different areas of the car. All tests are voluntary, not required. At my shop, I require all staff to be ASE certified and I know many other shops do as well. ASE tests are all written tests and it does not necessarily mean a person is competent to work on a car. AAA Approved aut ... read more

Taxi Moms and Dads (and yes Grandparents, Too!)

Taxi Moms and Dads (and yes Grandparents, Too!)

Hey, Phoenix drivers, is this you? On a daily basis are you running children to pre-school, school, after school extra curricular events, and doctor/dentist/orthodontist appointments? On Saturday and Sundays can you be found sitting in lawn chairs watching your child(ren) playing soccer? If you answered yes to any of the above, you are a shuttle service. Hey…many grandparents I know are operating shuttle services too! You probably realize the gas tank is getting close to empty more frequently but you may be overlooking another important fact. Most of this sort of driving is short trips but it does add up and takes a lot out of your vehicle. This is what we refer to as “severe” driving. Frequent short trips of less than 10 miles. Multiple short trips Severe driving conditions lead to more rapid sludge formation. Sludge is that thick, sticky substance that forms inside the engine through a combination of oil oxidation residue, carbon and water. Water condenses ... read more

It's Back To School Time!

It's Back To School Time!

School Supplies – checkSchool Clothes – checkSchool Schedules – checkSchool Lunches - checkAfter School Schedules – checkBedtimes and Wake Up Call – checkHomework Schedule – check What is missing from this list? Your car’s back-to-school checkup! When school starts traffic is heavier and Mom’s (or Dad’s) Taxi service is in high gear. Make sure your car is ready by having an inspection before school starts! Do you have a student driving themselves to school or college? Make sure their vehicle is ready too! Even if you aren’t directly affected by “back-to-school” these days, you can be affected if you are out and about during rush hour traffic. Make sure your car is ready for the increased traffic, the reduced speed limit in school zones and the sudden stops at cross walks. Be aw ... read more

Some Signs Your Brakes Need Attention!

Some Signs Your Brakes Need Attention!

Noises – A scraping sound means metal is rubbing metal and that tells you that your brake pads are worn out and need to be replaced. A squealing noise doesn’t always indicate a problem depending on the materials used in the pads but shouldn’t be ignored as it could also mean the pads are worn or your system is missing a gasket. Swerving – If your vehicle swerves to one side when you apply the brakes the front brakes need to be checked to make sure the “power” of the brakes are evenly distributed. This could indicate a leak or a mechanical problem or a miss-match of brake pad brands on either side. It is best to have it checked out if you notice this issue. Signs you need to have your vehicle towed – Pedal to the floor is a sign that the car has a leak or a bad master cylinder. This is a situation where you need to get your car towed in for repair immediately. Do not drive your vehicle if t ... read more

Drips & Puddles

Drips & Puddles

Those annoying under the car drips can leave your driveway and garage floor a mess…in fact everywhere you park becomes a victim to this mess. They are also a sign that something is wrong and needs to be taken care of. The only drip you don’t need to be concerned with is the condensation from your air conditioner. Everything else is a signal that there is a problem. The small drips are giving you fair warning that if ignored, serious problems are in your future. Here are a few examples: A reddish brown drip may mean one of three things; leaking transmission, over tightened pan gasket or a leaking front seal. A green or orange-red drip suggests a cooling system problem such as leaking hose or radiator. A brown to brownish-black drip that is thick in consistency is more than likely engine oil. This is not a huge problem if it is slight but when it grows to puddle size it is a sign of something serious and if not kept under control could mean severe engine trouble. A l ... read more

Hot & Steamy

Hot & Steamy

Those of us who live in Phoenix obviously can take the heat because we know to drink our fluids and not become overheated. Our cars can get overheated as well so we have to learn to pay attention to their needs (and it sure beats sitting in the heat waiting for a tow on a hot Phoenix day!). At Fairway Auto Repair it isn’t an unusual sight to see an overheated vehicle being towed into our shop. Before the tow truck picked it up it had been sitting alongside the road with steam pouring from underneath the hood! If your car starts to overheat, here are a few things to keep in mind: Pull over as soon as possible so the engine can cool down. Open the hood to allow the steam to disperse. DO NOT open the radiator cap until the engine is cool or you will get a steam burn! Check the coolant tank and fill if needed if you happen to have coolant and water with you and you feel confident that you are doing it correctly. Some cars don’t have a tank but just the radiator. If this ... read more

Phoenix Drivers, Is It Hot Enough For You?

Phoenix Drivers, Is It Hot Enough For You?

How many times do you hear that phrase in the course of the summer? We hear about the importance of taking care of ourselves during hot weather on the news and read about it in various publications. We are told to drink lots of water to keep hydrated, especially when exercising or doing physical labor. Take a moment and think about your car…it gets hot too! We often take for granted just how hard it does work for us in all kinds of weather. When you see a car sitting on the side of the road with steam rising from the hood that is an overheated vehicle! Many things will cause a car to overheat… a hose, radiator, head gasket, thermostat, water pump or even the computer controlled electric fans may not be functioning. With so many critical components that have to work together to keep the engine cool, we recommend an inspection every 3 to 4 months of these items. I keep repeating this statement and here it is again, it is always less expensive to mainta ... read more

Independence Day!

Independence Day!

The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. Most of us are looking forward to the long weekend this year and I just wanted to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday. I also want to remind people that drinking and driving don’t mix so if alcohol is part of your celebration, be sure to have a pre-determined designated driver. The 4th of July averages more collision claims than any other holiday. The law enforcement here in Phoenix will be out in full force working hard to keep us all safe and to keep impaired drivers off the road. Spending the 4th in jail or in the hospital (or being the cause of someone else being injured or worse) is not the way to celebrate our independence! Another reminder is to make sure you and all of your passengers wear your seat belt. Studies show seat belts are 45 percent effective in preventing fatalities when worn correctly. July is one of the deadliest months for motor vehicle crashes. It is a good time for parents to stress the importance ... read more

Keep Your Car Running Well In The Extreme Heat

Keep Your Car Running Well In The Extreme Heat

I am often asked how can drivers keep their cars running well during the extreme hot Phoenix weather? Ask any technician at Fairway Auto Repair and we will tell you that getting your car serviced regularly and keeping your tires rotated goes a long way. Arizona driving does require special help due to our extreme heat with triple-digit temperatures from late May through September. Here is what we do when you bring your car to Fairway Auto Repair: We inspect your tires’ tread and pressure - Over or under-inflated tires increase the risk of losing traction or having a blowout. Typically, tire pressure needs to be adjusted seasonally as hot weather causes the air inside tires to expand and increases the pressure inside the tire. We inspect your battery frequently - While batteries may have guaranteed life time warranties elsewhere, in Arizona the life expectancy of even the best batteries tops out at about three years. Heat is very hard on ba ... read more